One of the true joys of summer is the bounty of fresh fruit available. I’m one of those guys who just can’t bring myself to buy berries and watermelon and peaches grown in the southern hemisphere in December. Besides being ridiculously expensive, the stuff generally has no flavor. Can’t do it.

But come April I start thinking about it. And in May and June, I’m ready. I can’t wait to bite into a peach and have the juice run down my arm. Or bite into a strawberry that is actually red, ripe, and has flavor! And apricots and plums and nectarines… I’m definitely a stone fruit kinda guy although, if I can find an old-fashioned watermelon with seeds, I’ll pick one up. When they bred the seeds out of melons, they bred the flavor out, as well. I prefer things to be as local as possible, but east coast living is different than west coast living. Early in the season I’ll settle for northern hemisphere.

So tonight’s bountiful bowl consisted of nectarines, strawberries, and ranier cherries, with a bit of mint and a drizzle of Fico D’India – a prickly pear liqueur we picked up in Sicily.


Any excuse to pull out a bottle of booze, ya know?!? We have several different flavors – orange, cinnamon, and a fiery red something or other I picked up at Mount Etna – that will all be used in due time.

Good fresh fruit doesn’t need any enhancements but needing and playing are two entirely different concepts. I like to play.

I also played with a baked bean concept we came up with at work.


Baked beans, bacon, onions, and a mustard-based BBQ sauce. Nonna – who says she doesn’t like beans – had a big helping and twice said how much she liked them.

And then there was the chicken breast big enough for three.


Crispy crispy chicken-bacon-skin for Victor. That’s actually another thing – boneless skinless chicken breasts – something else with no flavor. All I added to this was salt, pepper, and a dusting of garlic powder. It was tender, juicy, and bursting with chicken flavor. What a concept.

And it wasn’t “enhanced with up to 22% solution.” Do you read the packages of chicken – or anything else you pick up at the store? They factory-farm a bird to be a certain size and weight by a certain day and then inject them with a ‘solution’ to make them taste like chicken.

That’s not a solution, that’s a problem.

Tomorrow is looking to be another bright, sunny day, so it’s time to hit the kitchen and see what gastronomical delights we can come up with. There’s nothing planned, so I can spend all day in the kitchen if I feel like it!

We shall see…